§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the financial considerations which518W he took into account in drawing up proposals for the closure of coastguard services at each of Hartland, Moray and Ramsey.
§ Mr. Portillo
Expenditure on coastguard services is planned to increase from £21.8 million in 1986–87 to £26.2 million in 1989–90. This increase reflects a steadily improving service with more effective radio and telecommunications equipment such as VHF direction-finding aerials, and better search and rescue helicopter coverage. The decision to merge the area responsibilities of the maritime rescue sub-centres at Hartland, Moray and Ramsey with those of adjacent stations will save about £600,000 a year, which is reflected in the planned figure for 1989–90. These savings allow other improvements in the service to be made, with no significant loss in operational effectiveness in the sea areas concerned.